Panasonic Corp. introduced people-centric robotics technology at the International Robot Exhibition 2017, in Tokyo from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2. It’s one of the largest robot exhibitions, and many robot manufacturers and affiliated companies from around the world attend.
Panasonic’s solutions address a wide range of industries including manufacturing as well as the farming and service industry. Here are some of the robots Panasonic featured at the show:
Autonomous Mobile Robot "HOSPI"
HOSPI runs for seven continuous hours, and can navigate safely even in areas congested with people. This autonomous mobile robot can work in delivery, surveillance, and tour guide capacities. Users simply set the route and destination. Panasonic has delivered more than 40 robots to 15 facilities including hotels, lounges and showrooms in Japan and other parts of the world.
Tomato Harvesting Robot (currently under development)
This robot can provide harvesting assistance and help alleviate labor shortages in the farming industry. In addition, it will reduce the man hours needed for harvesting, and by using information about crops, it can help improve the yield of high-quality produce. The robot takes high resolution range image from the TOF camera (time-of-flight) to accurately detect color, shape and location. Then it pulls the fruit away from the stalk and carefully snips off the fruit without harming it. In addition, it can communicate and work together with basket carriers to create a smart farming system that can sort, harvest and even store crops.
"WHILL NEXT" (currently under development)
The WHILL NEXT is an autonomous wheelchair that supports mobility in large indoor environments. The user can call the chair, which will navigate itself to the user and then to the desired destination. This wheelchair will also automatically avoid any obstacles or people and automatically stop to prevent collision. After use, it will autonomously navigate itself back to the preset location.